Scrambled Signals: Rivka Ketzel Solomon reflects on a childhood defined by her parents’ activism, Ms. magazine, and TV

When I was growing up in the '60s and '70s, it didn't matter that my parents were some of the earliest feminist leaders on the East Coast, that I grew up watching their activism from up close, or that I saw them live (not just profess) equality between the sexes. It didn't matter that I was a girl... Read more »

Backlash in Action: The Supposedly Feminist Murphy Brown

Murphy Brown’s a feminist show, right? I know it seems pretty old hat by now, but featuring a successful single mother and criticizing the Vice President is big stuff—for a sitcom, that is. Sometimes we have to take whatever we can get. Murphy even identifies as feminist. None of that ridiculous I... Read more »

Looking for Girls in All the Boys' Places: An Unlikely Feminist Film Fest

Wish there were more kick-ass female characters in the movies? Enough with The Piano-esqe mute-is-powerful bullshit. Sometimes you can find feminism in the most unlikely places, like action movies and Freaky Friday-like comedies. Batman II Why isn’t this movie called Catwoman?In a classic... Read more »

Talkshows: TV's Culture of Categorization

Talk shows are the scariest thing on the planet today. You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? Think about it: not only are they the lowest common denominator of American pop culture, but they’re also—because they’re in the form of “real” people talking about their “real”... Read more »

Mad As A Wet Hen #2: A Roundup of Media Affronts

“So now you can eat like one of the boys, but still look like one of the girls,” says the male voice-over touting Baked Lays potato chips while supermodels stuff their faces on screen… Oh, boys, did you know—Twix bars are the new way to get rid of those pesky, materialistic, shallow, shopping... Read more »

Whee! #2: Some Cockle-Warming Tidbits

Here's to Roseanne's succinct feminist history lesson...Seventeen is actually giving good advice these days. Question: "I masturbate often. Am I normal?" Answer: "Completely normal...3rd Rock from the Sun may be a wholly silly show that underuses the comic talents of Jane Curtin... Read more »

Amazon Women on the Moon: Images of Femininity in the Video Age

Like some grizzled old-timer sitting on the porch of the homestead talking about the good old days, I think back to the first time I saw MTV and pity the prepubescents of today who didn’t have the luck to see, as I did, the wonder of MTV when it first aired. I was eight years old, alone in my... Read more »

Are You Ready for the Sex, Girls?: The Mixed Messages of Kids

Kids has been hailed as a film that breaks the teen-movie mold and shows a long-hidden side of young life. But, while it may be more graphic and harsh than other movies, it basically covers the same ground: voracious young male sexuality. The only innovative element of the movie—an honest portrayal... Read more »

"Subversion on a Massive Level": Gender as Constructed Spectacle

When I rented Sleep With Me, I was expecting a silly angst-ridden Gen-X romantic comedy. I’d read the back of the box, so I knew that Joe and Sarah were married but that Frank, Joe’s best friend, was in love with her. Instead of an entertaining but benign and forgettable 90 minutes, I... Read more »

Whee! #1: Some Cockle-Warming Tidbits

We love Claire from 90210. She's so brainy; she's so hot. She never plays dumb for the boys and she gets to fuck them anyway... Yay for the recent changes in Ms. Not that we didn't adore it before, but now we're foaming at the mouth with love... Good for NBC for making visible the... Read more »

Pages

"Moonlight" is an Essential Work of Art for the Current Political Moment

Moonlight displays the kind of empathy and humanity that we desperately need right now. Read more »

One-Sentence Reviews of the Lesbian Netflix Canon

Lez face it: when you’re a ladygay like myself, cruising the internet for something to watch, you realize very quickly that there are a whole... Read more »

The Dramatic History of American Sex-Ed Films

In 1948, in a seventh grade classroom in Eugene, Oregon, a teacher dimmed the lights and flipped on 16mm projector. A film called Human... Read more »

The Forgotten History of the Women Who Shaped Modern Advertising

Long before Peggy Olson fought to be a copywriter on Mad Men, women were pioneering advertisers in the new age of mass media.... Read more »